Set within this historic area are a selection of boutique style lodges and B&B establishments perfect for travellers wishing to be in the centre of battlefield activity. There are several outstanding battlefield tours available and a knowledgeable, friendly and accredited local guide guarantees hour upon hour of captivating company. Walk in the footsteps of famous military strategists – Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha – all of whom played a part in the history of the KwaZulu-Natal, and get to grips with secrets, sorrows, strategies and despairs of these great battles.
Some of these battles are re-enacted by the Dundee Diehards which started 20 years ago when the Duke of Kent opened a new section of the Talana museum. Several British Diehards came out and with some of the local men they re-enacted the Battle of Talana. The club became very popular and more re-enactments were added to the list. Chronologically they re-enact Isandlwana in January, Majuba in February and Talana in October. As the public of Dundee have seen so many repeats of the Talana battle, they also re-enacted the Battle of Delvile Wood last year and had to make up twenty five sets of World War 1 webbing and helmets. This, they said, ‘was worthwhile and the re-enactment went down very well’. Apart from battle re-enactments they have taken part in documentaries with the BBC, SABC and even National Geographic – the last documentary was called “Black, White and Khaki” produced by Wilddog Productions and shows how the Blacks and Indians were involved in the Second Boer war. They also took part in a film “Begrond” which will premier towards the end of this year and have been asked to take part in another film towards the end of the year which will be filmed in Utrecht (for more info phone Vincent Nixon 072 528 8915).
In addition to battlefields and legends, this region offers Zulu culture, game reserves and a variety of adventure activities from horse riding and mountain biking to hiking and white-water rafting to list just a few. The Nambiti Private Game Reserve offers guests a five-star experience in the tranquillity of the African bush – from spectacular sunsets and sublime spa experiences to an abundance of wildlife and fabulous cuisine. Or if golf is more your thing, then there’s the option of enjoying a classy 9-hole, 18-tee golf course at the luxurious Vulintaba Country Estate, one of the best golf courses in KZN. Or find a panoramic spot for sundowners while watching the sunset against the backdrop of the majestic Northern Drakensberg Mountains just outside of Newcastle. Enjoy the expansive views, wildlife and birdlife make this region a favourite among hikers and climbers – where you leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated ready to take on the world again.
what to do in the battlefields
did you know
The Zulu name for a giraffe is indlulamithi which means ‘above the trees’. Giraffes are the world’s tallest terrestrial animal and it is this height that enables them to eat leaves and shoots located much higher in trees than other animals. Their favourite is that of the acacia tree with their long tongues enabling them to pull the leaves from the trees and their hairy prehensile upper lip helps to protect them from the acacia tree’s thorns.